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Mother's Day is one of the most special days of the year. It a day solely devoted to taking a step back as a family, spending quality time together and honoring the women in our lives who do so much. This year is particularly special for me since I am celebrating mother's day as a pregnant mama of two, going on three!

We all suspect we will feel a certain way once we become a mother, but I wasn't able to quite capture the feelings associated with motherhood until the moment post- delivery that the nurse put my first baby, Yuli, into my arms. My whole world changed, and in the span of just a few seconds. Nothing was the same, nor does anything else come close to the love and connection you feel for this amazing human being that you created. I felt the exact same way when my second, Ori, was handed to me. It's the most wonderful feeling in the world.

I am most proud of being a mother. I am grateful that I was able to bring my boys into the world (and this third little baby on the way!) and teach them and care for them every day.

My oldest, Yuli, is now at that age where he's asking all the questions - about anything and everything! The mamas out there know what I'm talking about! He understands more and is always curious, wanting to soak everything in. In fact, he even understands when I whisper quickly in hebrew to my husband! My youngest, Ori, is almost two and we're now proudly watching him shift from being a baby to a toddler. Though he won't be the youngest in the family much longer, Ori can't wait to take on his new role as big brother.

While being a mom is the greatest job in the world, it does not come without its hardships. Motherhood is the equivalent of a 24/7 job - and that's only with two kids! I imagine it'll get even busier in the Dekel household when the third baby arrives. For me, the most important thing is to keep my cool and take each day and experience as it comes. And, of course, to remember to always have gratitude because my children are my life.

Check out these 5 tips I've tried to make use of lately to be a better mom:

1) Putting my phone away! This is a biggie for me - and likely one for all 21st century parents. It's tough to take our attention off of our ringing, buzzing, blinging, notification-ing phones. But, I've been making an extra effort to put my phone off to the side and put all of my attention (undivided!) on Yuli and Ori when I am with them.

2) To listen, really listen! This naturally follows from the above point. When I'm with my children, I want to be very present, to really hear what they are saying and experience my time with them to the fullest. Of course, turning my phone off or putting it to the side only helps! But, more than tuning the rest of the noise out, tuning in to my kids to the fullest extent is the ultimate goal.

3) Spend time with each child separately! This is a goal my husband, Noam, and I have been putting at the top of our priority list for some time now. Studies have shown how unbelievably important it is to spend time alone with each child, exploring their respective interests and supporting them in their specific endeavors.

4) Don't raise my voice! I've been making an active effort to limit negative reactions to situations with my boys, and instead to explain to them why what they did was wrong. Oftentimes, children will learn better if you help them come to a conclusion about their actions, rather than punish them for the wrongdoing. I also want to speak to my children rather than yell- they are capable of understanding and I try to remember that they are intelligent and can comprehend, at least to some degree!

5) Enjoy "Me Time"! Self-care and wellness is just as much a part of being a good mother as any other bit. We are best prepared to take care of our families when we are healthy, happy, and stress-free (though the lattermost point is a challenge, always!). Being able to sit, relax, and enjoy a cup of coffee after putting Yuli and Ori to sleep is a beautiful thing - to be at peace with the job I did that day with my babies, and let myself unwind so that I can be the best mother I can be the next day and the day after and so on.

Wishing a Happy Mother's Day to all of the mamas and grandmas out there (shout-out to my own Ima in Israel!) - you are all incredible women, and we are so grateful for your love and care, always!

Neshikot= Xx





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